Monitoring and Simulating the Responses of Four Flexible Pavement Test Sections under Heavy Vehicle Loading

Shafiqur Rahman*, Sigurdur Erlingsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For mechanistic-empirical design of pavements, it is essential to accurately predict the responses of the structure that are caused by the design traffic loading. The aim of this study was to compare the simulated responses of pavements with real measurements under heavy vehicle loading. With this objective, four instrumented test sections were built in northern Sweden-about 100 km north of the Arctic Circle. These test sections differed in material quality of the various layers. Each test section was instrumented with pressure cells and strain sensors that measured the pavement response to external loading. Climatic variables were monitored through a weather station as well as temperature and moisture sensors installed in the road structures. Response measurements were carried out using 25-m-long 10-axle vehicles with gross weight of 90 tons. For the simulations of the responses of these test structures under the same vehicular loading, a multilayer elastic theory-based program called ERAPave was used. The required material properties for the simulations were based on laboratory testing of core-drilled samples from the sites. For the simulations, three combinations of material characterizations were considered: (a) linear elastic (LE) all layers, (b) nonlinear (NL) unbound layers, and (c) viscoelastic (VE) asphalt layers. Acceptable agreement between the simulations and measured responses were observed. Generally, the responses calculated based on LE and NL analyses were indistinguishable, whereas the VE analyses showed somewhat lower amplitude peaks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Testing and Evaluation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was financed by the Swedish transport administration.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 by ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959.

Other keywords

  • instrumentation
  • layered elastic theory
  • long and heavy vehicles
  • mechanistic-empirical design
  • pavement response
  • pavement structure
  • simulation
  • strain
  • stress


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